Last week we all looked forward to the sensual delights that Vosne had to offer. We tasted nine Vosne Romanee Premier Cru and a ringer in the form of a village Vosne.
The pearl of the Côte
Vosne-Romanée is the shining star of the Cote de Nuits creating the world’s finest red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes. The commune covers 180 hectares of vines and lies between Nuits St. Georges to the south and Flagey-Echézeaux and Vougeot to the north.
Vosne, violets and voomah
Vosne is known for its beguiling violet aroma, creamy texture and power. They are light yet concentrated with the Grand Cru sites delivering an aromatic charm. With Romanée-Conti the spice and warmth rise to an almost oriental opulence; La Tâche has the most finesse, Échezeaux is the purest and most elegant, Grands Échezeaux the firmest.
Despite having 6 world-famous Grand Cru, the wines at village and Premier Cru level are also excellent.
The promise of Premier Cru
The Premier Cru vineyards lie on fairly shallow soils that contain a high proportion of limestone with scree topsoil making for excellent drainage. There are noticeable distinctions between the Premier Cru styles depending on which communes they come from:
A. Bordering Nuits St. Georges
- Clos des Réas – ages gracefully
- Aux Malconsorts & Au-dessus des Malconsorts – more burly
- Les Chaumes – softer and less intense than the two above
- Les Gaudichots – rich, dense, chewy wine with masses of fruits finely balanced by a long fresh finish.
B. Bordering Flagey-Echézeaux
- Aux Reignots, Cros Parantoux, Les Beaux Monts – have a fresher style due to their higher altitude
- Aux Brûlées – simliar to the above with a crisp freshness delivering clean and pure wines with a mineral quality
- Les Rouges – similar to above but less intense
- La Croix Rameau – rich, sumptuous wines of the highest quality
- Les Suchots – finer than many Grand Cru Echézeaux
- Les Petits Monts – less interesting
Getting down to business
We tasted Les Beaux Monts, Les Suchots, Clos des Réas and Les Chaumes. In three flights of three wines with a focus on producer (first flight), vintage (second flight) and age and vineyard (third flight).
Here are my results:
1. Top scoring was the vivad Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts 2009 from Daniel Rion – explosive flavours, concentration and sensuality.
2. Next came Les Suchots 2006 from Domaine Jacques Cacheux – sumptuous and charming.
3. A tie for third between Michel Gros’s penetrating and fresh Clos des Réas 2002 and Jean Grivot’s more effervescent village Vosne-Romanée 2004.
4. Sharing fourth place were the 2007 version of Michel Gros’s Clos des Réas which was more game-like and sweet fruited along with Daniel Rion’s savoury yet slightly austere Chaumes 2006 and Nicolas Potel’s muscular Les Beaux Monts 2006.
5. Picking up the rear were Hudelot Noëllot’s more developed Les Suchots from 1999 and the slightly sinewy diffuse Les Suchots 2002 from Confuron-Cotetidot.
For more detailed notes see Part 2